Torture of ordinary Mexicans may be shocking, but it’s not surprising Daniel Peña

4/19/16 The Guardian

Mezcala_(or_Balsas)_River_in_Guerrero,_MexicoThe now-infamous video of Mexican soldiers helping a federal police officer torture and interrogate a female suspect in Ajuchitlán del Progreso, Guerrero, this past February seems to be another confirmation that there are two classes of Mexicans. There are those who are exempt from consequences (politicians and the wealthy, including Mexico’s military elite) who operate with impunity in Mexico. And then there are the rest of us, regularly policed by force with the active participation of Mexico’s military and federal police in intimidation tactics and the violation of human rights.

The world might rightly be shocked by the way the woman in the video was asphyxiated with plastic bags, by the way she screamed as the muzzle of a gun was pressed to her skull, but every Mexican knows that this single story of torture is part of a pattern.

Just last week, Mexico’s Comisión Nacional de los Derechos Humanos confirmedthe involvement of two Mexican federal police in the disappearance of the 43 students in Ayotzinapa. In the 2014 Tlatlaya massacre, Mexican soldiers were allegedly ordered by senior officers to murder 22 civilians who had already surrendered to Mexican forces. Also that year, National Autonomous University of Mexico student and poet Sandino Bucio was arrested by plainclothes federal police, presumably for having participated in the 20 November march in Mexico City in support of the then recently disappeared Ayotzinapa students.

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